Last Updated: July 27, 2022

What Is Maryland Known For?

Wondering what the state of Maryland is known for? Then you’re definitely in the right place because we’ve got the top 16 things that Maryland is famous for all over the world!

The state has an incredibly rich history that has made it popular among both local and foreign tourists. Everyone wants to discover at least a sliver of Maryland’s history, be it its role in the Civil War, its importance to George Washington during the Revolutionary War, or just the part it played in the history of American sports by producing Babe Ruth.

Blue crabs, excellent fishing opportunities, and the Star Spangled Banner are just a few of the many things that the state of Maryland is known for – read on to see all the others!

Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay is the United States’ largest estuary and it’s split between Maryland and Virginia. The northern part of the bay is on the eastern shore of Maryland and it’s extremely important for both the economy and the ecosystem of the region.

There’s a myriad of different ways to explore Chesapeake Bay and the most popular activities all include having fun on the water. Fishing, kayaking, sailing, swimming, crabbing, and boating are all extremely popular in the area, making the Chesapeake Bay a great destination for everyone looking to have some water fun in Maryland.

The Chesapeake Bay is also famous for the blue crab. This is the most iconic species found in the bay, and catching crab is allowed in the area, but only during specific seasons.

Blue Crabs

Blue Crabs

The salty waters of the Chesapeake Bay are home to a huge population of blue crab. The rare crustacean is commonly found in Maryland, and it’s extremely important for the state’s economy. Blue crab is the official crustacean of the state of Maryland and it’s Chesapeake Bay’s most important fishery, so it’s easy to understand why they are so famous.

The blue crab is part of the state’s identity, there’s no doubt about that. You can shop blue-crab-themed souvenirs throughout Maryland, you can try steamed crabs in one of the state’s many seafood restaurants, and you can even watch a baseball game with Pinch the Crab as the mascot!

The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs are a baseball team out of Waldorf, and their name was chosen by residents of Southern Maryland.

National Anthem

In 1814 Francis Scott Key was inspired to write a poem about the bombing of a Maryland fort during the War of 1812. The sight of the US flag above the bombarded chaos moved him, and the poem The Defence of Fort McHenry was born.

A century and some years later, the poem would be adapted, renamed the Star Spangled Banner, and it would become the national anthem of the United States.

Key initially wrote the poem to celebrate the defense of Baltimore, but it didn’t take long before it became a popular way of expressing one’s patriotism. In the years leading up to the civil war, abolitionists used this poem to promote their agenda by adding a single verse.

The same happened with the temperance movement, and already in 1899, the United States Navy adopted this poem for use in all their formal ceremonies.

The rest is history – in 1916 president Wilson ordered that the Star Spangled Banner be used on all military occasions, and in 1931 president Hoover signed a resolution that made it the country’s official anthem.

Ocean City

Ocean City Maryland

The USA has at least two very important OCs, and one of them is in Maryland. Ocean City is the state’s most popular resort town with miles upon miles of sandy beaches. It’s situated on Fenwick Island, and during the summer months, this becomes the hottest destination in the state, second only to the city of Baltimore.

The resort town offers a variety of fun activities for people of all ages, which is precisely what makes it such a popular tourist destination in Maryland. It’s great for swimming, fishing, and playing golf, and it’s also got great nightlife, as well as an abundance of museums. Whether you’re looking to have fun as a family or as a single adult, there are plenty of things to do in Ocean City.

The spectacular beaches and the wooden boardwalk are the most famous attractions in OCMD. The town is also home to a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum, several amusement parks, and quite a few art galleries.

Baltimore

Baltimore Maryland

The Constitution of Maryland designated Baltimore an independent city in 1851, and today it’s the most populous independent city in the USA. Situated just some 40 miles northeast of Washington DC, Baltimore remains the most visited city in the state of Maryland thanks to the variety of interesting tourist attractions.

The National Aquarium, the Fort McHenry National Monument, the Maryland Science Center, and the Baltimore Museum of Art are all situated in the city and they attract tourists from all over the world. The city is also known for the Baltimore Ravens, an NFL team that is headquartered in Owings Mills, Maryland.

This city has got a rich history – after all, a poem written to commemorate its defense during the 1812 Battle of Baltimore become the national anthem of the entire country! It was also one of the first cities to see instances of violence related to the American Civil War, most notably the Pratt Street Riot in 1861.

Additionally, Baltimore was also one of the first cities in the US to become a major transportation hub. The Port of Baltimore was established in the early 18th century and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which was built in 1830, is the US’ oldest railroad.

Jousting

Jousting

Jousting is the official sport of the state of Maryland and it has been since 1962. Since colonial times jousting tournaments have been held in this state, and the sport became particularly popular during the Civil War.

Maryland’s state sport is the oldest equestrian sport in the world. It developed in the Middle Ages, initially as a way of training the cavalry for combat. The form of sport that is popular in Maryland even today has lost its military connection, and it’s important to note that the jousting done in Maryland is by no means lethal.

The sport is popular among both adults and children and the jousting tournaments that are held in Maryland are known as ring tournaments. The rider must charge the horse at full gallop through the 80-yard course while attempting to “spear” the rings throughout the course. Each ring earns a certain amount of points, and the rider has only eight seconds to “spear” as many rings as they can.

Longest Escalator in the USA

A weird thing to be famous for but Maryland is known for being the home of the longest escalator in the United States. It’s at Wheaton Station of the Washington Metro system, and it’s some 230 feet long.

The escalator travels at a speed of 90 feet per minute and it takes about three minutes to ride it down to the depths of the Wheaton metro station. It’s at an inclination of 30 degrees, and it takes the record for being the longest escalator in the Western Hemisphere.

Riding the escalator at Wheaton station is popular among tourists, but it’s important to note that this is a pretty busy transport hub in Maryland. If you end up checking out the longest escalator in the US, just be mindful of the people who are commuting to work and try not to be in anyone’s way.

Also, keep your fingers crossed that it doesn’t break down, which has been known to happen, otherwise you’re in for a very long walk.

Annapolis

Annapolis Maryland

Annapolis is the capital city of the state of Maryland. It’s situated on the Chesapeake Bay, right at the mouth of the Severn River. Thanks to its spectacular location and incredibly rich history, this wonderful city has lots to offer to anyone who decides to visit it.

For most Americans, the city of Annapolis is synonymous with the United States Naval Academy. It’s perhaps the most famous educational institution in the city, but it’s certainly not the oldest one. That would be St. John’s College, which was founded in 1696 and is the third oldest college in the entire country.

Just like most other cities in Maryland, Annapolis is a popular destination among tourists who want to explore the Chesapeake Bay. The city is known for colonial architecture, maritime and naval museums, water parks, and historic landmarks. It’s also got a few great wineries, lots of excellent seafood restaurants, and plenty of cruise options for visitors who want to explore Annapolis from the water.

Deep Creek Lake

Deep Creek Lake

Deep Creek Lake is the largest inland body of water in the state and it’s situated in Western Maryland. It covers an area of 3,900 acres and it’s got a shoreline of some 69 miles. Just like all the other lakes in this state, Deep Creek Lake is man-made and a consequence of a 1920 hydroelectric project on Deep Creek.

This man-made lake is nowadays a popular tourist destination in Maryland, thanks to a variety of rental homes and fun activities. And there are plenty of things to do in the area whenever, so it doesn’t matter if you’re looking to go fishing in the summer or skiing in the winter – Deep Creek Lake remains a great destination.

The Wisp Resort offers excellent skiing near Deep Creek Lake, and it’s also popular for hiking and other fun outdoor activities in the other seasons.

Decoy Capital of the World

Maryland is known for being home to a city that’s known as the decoy capital in the world. The city is Havre de Grace and it got the nickname because the craft of carving wooden duck decoys was extremely important to this city.

Havre De Grace Decoy Museum is a testament to the importance of the craft. Situated in the southeastern part of the city, this unique museum is popular for its massive collection of wooden decoy ducks. Nowadays they’re more of a collector’s item, but the decoy ducks were initially used by hunters who wanted to lure the ducks out into the open.

Some traditional hunters still use these decoys, but in most cases, the items seen at this museum just end up on other people’s shelves. In any case, if you’re traveling through northeast Maryland and you’re looking for interesting places to discover, definitely stop by the decoy capital of the world and see what the fuss is about!

Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth

Baltimore, Maryland is known for being the birthplace of Babe Ruth, a professional baseball player who remains an icon of American culture. At the start of his career, Ruth signed for the minor league team Baltimore Orioles, but he was quickly sold to the Boston Red Sox, which kickstarted his MLB career.

Babe Ruth’s major league baseball career spanned 22 seasons. Although he began his career in the Red Sox, he became most famous for his time as a New York Yankee. Many regard him as the greatest baseball player in American history, and he was one of the five inaugural members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Head to Baltimore if you want to explore tourist attractions relating to Babe Ruth. The Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum is the top attraction to visit. The museum is situated in the house where Babe Ruth was born and it’s full of memorabilia relating to baseball and other sports.

Fishing

Thanks to an abundance of streams, creeks, rivers, and the famous Chesapeake Bay, it’s no surprise that Maryland is known for offering some of the best fishing opportunities on the East Coast.

Deep Creek Lake is without a doubt one of the best fishing spots in the entire state. Situated in Western Maryland, this man-made lake is stocked with fish throughout the year. Some of the most common species in the lake include rainbow trout, crappie, walleye, bass, and bluegill, but there are many other species in the lake.

What you manage to catch is mostly going to depend on your skill, but also a little bit on the season you decide to go fishing in Maryland. Youghiogheny River Reservoir is also a great fishing spot in the state of Maryland. It spans 2,800 acres near the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania, and it’s home to many different species of fish.

Savage River, Chesapeake Bay, Assateague Island, and Centennial Lake are also good options for fishing in Maryland.

University of Maryland

University of Maryland

The University of Maryland is likely the most famous United States university that isn’t part of the coveted Ivy League. In fact, many call UMD the Public Ivy because it’s already so exclusive and hard to get into that it doesn’t need to restrict the enrollment process at all.

That’s mostly because of the university’s close proximity to the US capital. It resulted in the federal government partnering with the University of Maryland on a wide variety of research projects, so the university receives funding from NASA, the FDA, the NSA, and the Department of Homeland Security, among others.

It’s ranked among the 100 best universities globally, and it’s got a criminology and criminal justice department that’s been ranked at the top perennially.

Queen Henrietta Maria

Queen Henrietta Maria

Queen Henrietta Maria was the Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland in the 17th century, during her marriage to King Charles I. She was never a popular queen in England because of her Roman Catholicism, and this is also the reason why she could never be crowned in a Church of England Service.

However, her religious views made her extremely popular among the Roman Catholic settlers in the North American Province of Maryland. The settlement was named after Queen Henrietta Maria, and the name even carried over to today’s US state of Maryland.

A fun fact on this subject is that Queen Henrietta Maria was known as Queen Mary in England, but she never liked this name and she would always sign her letters Henriette R or Henriette Marie R – the R stands for Regina, which is Latin for queen. Therefore, one can only imagine what she would have thought about the name Mary-land.

Salt Marshes

Salt Marsh Maryland

Another fascinating thing Maryland is known for is salt marshes. They’re one of the rarest types of habitats in the world (only some 45,000 square kilometers throughout the planet), and they are common in the waters of Chesapeake Bay.

Salt marshes are becoming even rarer because of the rising sea levels. The waters of Chesapeake Bay have risen a foot in the 20th century only, and climate change is threatening to speed up that process even more.

Protecting this rare habitat is crucial for preserving the unique wildlife that thrives in harsh conditions. The salt marshes of Chesapeake Bay are home to two globally important species – the Black Rail and the Saltmarsh Sparrow, which happen to attract quite a few birdwatchers to this area.

America In Miniature

America in Miniature is one of the several nicknames for the state of Maryland – the other two most popular are Old Line State and Free State. It’s known as American in Miniature for multiple reasons, the main one being that there are so many different attractions and features packed into this small state.

In terms of natural features, Maryland is home to everything except for a desert, but that’s because there’s water almost everywhere in the state. Driving through Maryland, especially northern Maryland, will give you the opportunity to discover its many different geographical features, from tall mountains to vast lakes.

The state is also home to many different ethnic groups, which represents the diversity of the United States population pretty well.

About the Author Anna Timbrook

Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.

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